Last we heard from DARPA, they were looking for a few good men to build them portable atomic clocks. But super-accurate time pieces aren’t all that’s keeping the research hub busy. The agency has been funding the work of a certain neuroscientist William Tyler and even gone as far as bestowing a Young Faculty Award.
What for? To develop a microchip that will improve the performance of a soldier’s mind while on active duty. The need for such a capability, even if its use is generations away (or perhaps never) comes at a time when recent experience in Iraq has highlighted the importance of U.S. soldier’s mental health during long drawn-out missions in hostile territory.
Dr. Tyler’s lab is currently testing a new device that uses ultrasound to stimulate regions of the brain for specific purposes. The goal is to create a device that could improve a soldier’s alertness and reduce stress levels. It can even go so far as to offset internal injuries and bring about pain relief. In a word, DARPA want Universal Soldiers. Somewhere out there, we know Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Dame are reading this and smiling.
All we need now is news that DARPA is researching metallic exoskeletons and we’ll come up with a headline like “DARPA Wants To Create Terminators”.